Posts Tagged ‘dying’

Ten of my favorite blog posts on Real Christianity

Posted: October 31, 2012 in Christian Living, Evangelism, False Doctrine, False Teachers
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I cannot believe that I have been blogging for over five years beginning with How Important is Doctrine and as of today, have written 619 posts, this being my 620th. Every now and then, I go back to my old posts and re-read some of them, if not for anything else to re-encourage myself. So out of these 600+posts, below are ten of my favorite posts in no particular order and my reasons why. Just click on the titles to read the posts

1. The Marks of False ‘Christian’ teachers and teaching - OK, I am going to cheat on the first one as it was my first series (11 parts in total) called The Marks of False ‘Christian’ teachers and teaching starting with A Form of godliness. I saw so much foolishness in churches and on Christian TV and I knew that a lot of people were beginning to question a lot of things but were afraid to say anything. I just said what they were thinking. So I wrote the series and gave my reasons for doing it as I know a lot of people would think that I was just a heresy hunter. If you want to read the full series, just follow the links at the bottom of the posts

2. To tithe or not to tithe - Tithing was one of those things that kept me in bondage early on in my days and I know keeps many in bondage today. Many preachers use old testament scriptures like Malachi 3:8-12 to manipulate people into giving money and making them feel that they have robbed God if they don’t give their 10%.  That was until I searched the scriptures for myself only to find that the new testament principle of giving is proportional giving and giving out of what you have and not out of what you don’t have thus getting yourself into debt. It is also about a person giving what THEY purpose in their heart (2 Cor 9:7) . I wrote this to make it plain why Christians are not under any obligation to tithe anymore under the new covenant.

3. How do you know that you are saved (that you are a Christian)? - I really enjoyed writing this blog because it became very apparent to me that many people thought that they were Christians but they were actually self-deceived. This troubled me so I wanted to have some kind of ‘test’ whereby a person could measure up themselves to. Luckily the books of 1 and 2 John has such a test and has been one of my most popular posts that is found when people do searches, which tells me that a lot of people really do want to know if they are a Christian or not.

4. So you think that you’re a Christian. Power testimonies from former false converts - This ties in to number 3. When I heard these testimonies, I knew there were countless amount of people in this situation and I wanted to share it because I wanted others to see if they could see themselves in the mirror and if so, do something about it. The worse deception ever is to think that you are a Christian when, in fact, you are not

5. Spending Quality Time with God - This post always comes to haunt me because I know that this is something that I am constantly guilty of not doing but it is a constant reminder of where our priorities should be  

6. When your children don’t want to follow God – This post was and still is a very personal one to me. It hurts me to know that my children (so far) have decided to not follow Christ. I can only pray that God orchestrates the events in their life to point them to him.

7. Every Man’s Battle - I wrote this because it is a taboo subject amongst Christian men but can be a deadly poison if not dealt with….especially when it comes to the summer.

8. The Money Challenge - If anything, this is a shame on most of us as Christians about what motivates us to share the  gospel with others. I never want to be  Christian that as the gospel group, Commissioned, say in one of their songs that we “tend to find security in our salvation. We should constantly think about the lost”

9. Should we ever question what the man of God says – This post goes hand in hand with the post of Touch not the Lord’s anointed. Say goodbye to the untouchable preachers. The reason why I started this whole blogging stuff is because I questioned everything that I had previously heard and decided to go back to the basics of the gospel. You know, things like the cross, salvation, sin, repentance, faith, discipleship and NOT breakthroughs, blessings and divine favour which seems to be so prevalent in churches these days.

10. Christ is the only way, now you choose - I have posted many videos over the years but I love this video because it puts everything in perspective about what Christ has done and how he has provided a way out for those who have repented and put their trust in him

In a post a few years ago, I talked about using Facebook and Twitter for the glory of God and how I have been able to use it to tell my friends and family about Christ whereas previously, I would have been limited. I cannot save anyone and God has not given that responsibility to me. My responsibility is to tell people the message of the gospel and leave God to do the saving. The sad fact though is that the majority of my unbelieving friends and family will not respond to the call of Christ because they are on the broad road that Jesus talked about below

Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it. (Matthew 7:13-14)

Courtesy of Reclaiming the Mind, here is a letter to my unbelieving friends and family

Dear friend/family member,

This is written to those of you who I know and are without Christ. By that I mean you have never fallen on your face before Christ and asked for forgiveness. Many of you are friends —close friends—whom I have talked to about Christ, but you are unconvinced. I would love to be able to push a button, write a check, or perform a task that would make you believe as I do. However, the stark reality that I have to deal with is that many of you whom I love very dearly will die in this state. And, according to my deep convictions, you will not be in the presence of the Lord but in a place of terrible judgement.

Now, I know what you are thinking. Don’t quit reading though. Hear me out. I am not necessarily trying to evangelize you or make you love Jesus. I am trying to tell you how to prepare for hell. Just give me some slack here. Though what I am offering to you is still as far from heaven as the east is from the west, it may do some good. Though you do not believe in heaven or hell, you have to admit: you could be wrong. Yes, I admit, I could be wrong too. But if I am wrong, what awaits me? Eternal darkness?Nothingness? Fine and good. However, if you are wrong, something terrible is coming. I can’t prepare for nothingness. You can prepare for Hell. This is a “just in case you are wrong” letter.

You see, I believe that when we die, we will all present ourselves to God. Let’s put it this way for illustrative purposes. When life as we know it comes to a close, there will be two lines in heaven and two sets of book. One line will stand before Christ, one line will stand behind him. Christ will have two books: one which has the name of those who stand behind him written in it called “the Book of Life”. The other book is for those who stand in front of him called “the Book of Judgement”. In this book of judgement is written all the wrong things that those who have not trusted in him have done. Every selfish act, every sexual sin, every cutting word, and every time you failed to love your children. In short, every sin that you have ever left your fingerprint on will be represented. Your disbelief in God will find a prominent place as it is the reason the ink will have dried on the pages of this book.

If I am right, I will be in a line behind the judge, Jesus. I will have eraser residue all over me. You see, my name used to be written in the same book of judgement. My issues were just as bad as yours (if not much worse). I had many pages reserved in that book. However, there is an invitation given to everyone in the line of judgement. It says that God loves us and does not desire that we should stand in this line and be judged. It says that Christ took the judgement upon himself for all those who will accept it. It says that who ever wants to leave this line and stand behind Christ can do so. I got in the line behind Christ many years ago. Because of this, Christ took a blood stained eraser, turned to my pages in the book of judgement, and erased it all. He then wrote my name in the book of life with permanent ink. Look at me. I have more eraser pieces on me than anyone. But the point is, because of what Christ did and because I trusted in him, my sins are no longer in that book. Because you failed to believe that Christ is God’s eternal Son who died on a wooden cross for your sins, your sin remains in that terrible book. I elected to have Christ take my penalty; you elected to stay in the line of judgement and stand on your own. I elected to have Christ be judged in my place; you have said, “If it is true, I will make my case before the Lord and stand on my own.” Therefore, we are in different lines. While these lines become permanent upon death (i.e. the Bible does not present an after death chance to change lines), in some sense, we are in these lines right now.

However, since you are determined to remain in the line of judgement (which breaks the Lord’s heart and mine), I am trying to think of what I can do for you. I am scrambling here with tears in my eyes as your future is so bleak. Of course, if you reject Christ, there is nothing you can do to avoid the ultimate fate that awaits you: eternity away from God’s love, eternity in torment, eternity in hell. Hell is your decision; it is not the decision of God who loves you. However, I do believe that while hell will be unimaginably terrible for everyone, it will be less unimaginably terrible for some than for others.

In the Bible, Christ says as much. Comparing hell to being whipped, he said that some will receive ”many lashes” and some will receive “few” (Luke 12:47-48). Hell will always be eternal. Hell will always be outside of the grace and love of God. But for some it will be worse than for others. I would that you would just trust in the God who loves you and sent his Son to erase your part in the book. I would that your name was written in the “Book of Life” not the “Book of Death and Judgement”, but, again, I have to deal with the reality that you may never change your heart toward God.

For this reason, I want to give you some advice about how to make, what I believe to be, your terrible future, less terrible. Here is how to prepare for Hell:

1. First and foremost, whenever the Bible is being taught, run.

I know that this sounds kind of odd (especially coming from me), but it is true. If you are determined to remain an unbeliever until death, don’t go to church where the Bible is taught, don’t listen to the Bible on your iPod, don’t even pick up a Bible and thumb through it. Stay far away from that book.

Let me illustrate. The other day, I yelled from the living room to my daughter Katelynn to get to bed. Fifteen minutes later, she was still up. I became upset with her. I thought it was a deliberate act of disobedience. However, when I talked to her about it, she said that she did not hear me. Once I believed her, my anger went away. Why? Because she did not actually know that I told her to go to bed. Now, she was still in a little bit of trouble because she already knew what her bedtime was. But her trouble would have been more severe had she not only known what her bedtime was but heard what I said and still disobeyed. The point is the more you hear what I believe to be God’s word and disobey, the greater the offense.

Listen to what Christ says about this:

Luke 12:48 “From everyone who has been given much, much will be required; and to whom they entrusted much, of him they will ask all the more.”

2. Don’t try to persuade others, especially children, of your unbelief

Christ said some terrifying word to those who are evangelists of unbelief:

Mark 9:42 “Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe to stumble, it would be better for him if, with a heavy millstone hung around his neck, he had been cast into the sea.”

3. Whatever causes you to sin, get rid of it

I think that this one will be the hardest of the three so far, but if you can do it, it is sound advice. If your television causes you to neglect your family, get rid of it. If your iPad is distracting you from productivity, throw it away. And (and this is going to sound crazy), if your eyes are causing you to lust (i.e. pornography?), cut them out. It is that serious.

Mark 9:43-48 If your hand causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life maimed than with two hands to go into hell, where the fire never goes out. 45 And if your foot causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life crippled than to have two feet and be thrown into hell. 47 And if your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out. It is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye than to have two eyes and be thrown into hell, 48 where ” ‘their worm does not die, and the fire is not quenched.’

This does not mean that if you do these things, your deeds will cover all the other things written in that book, but it does mean that you will have fewer pages in that book than you would otherwise.

4. Take care of your family

Don’t neglect to work hard and provide for them. Whether it is your parents, wife, husband, or children, take care of them with all your might. Love them dearly. Let me get real practical here. Some of you men are divorced and are failing to pay for the support of your wife and children. Don’t do that. Some of you have parents who are elderly and you are more concerned about the advancement of your career than caring for them. These type of things are written in bold in the book of judgement.

Listen to what Paul tells Timothy:

1Tim. 5:8 “If anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for his immediate family, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.”

5. Don’t give yourself too much credit

If you were in the same line as me, I would simply say “Give credit to God for every good thing”. But I cannot say that to you since you do not follow or believe in God. However (and I am doing the best I can here), you have to do whatever you can to remain humble. Pride will create a full chapter in most people’s section in the book of judgement. It causes your heart to be darkened in so many ways and leads to the sins of vanity, selfishness, and the devaluing of others. Even in your worldview without God, you can understand that you are not essentially better than anyone else can’t you? If you are an atheist, you are the way you are due to fate, not your own ingenuity or efforts. I would that you would give credit to God for all things, but I will have to settle for second—a far distant second—best: just don’t pat yourself on your back too much.

Paul sees the wrath of God as centered on people’s lack of thanksgiving to him.

Rom. 1:21 “For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened.”

Again, you cannot thank God, but you can keep from thanking yourself.

I have more to say . . . much more. But I fear that you may become overwhelmed. I may write more someday.

However, although I said that this was not written primarily to evangelize you, I must pass this invitation from God over to you once again. You do not have to stay in that line. As long as you are still breathing, you can join me over here behind Christ. You don’t have to pay anything, give anything, or do anything to join me. Just have to turn to Christ and ask him to erase your pages in that book. God is beckoning you to come.

Listen to this from John 3:18: “Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.”

One more thing. The line illustration is not really original with me. John uses a similar theme in a book in the Bible called “Revelation”:

Rev 20:12 “And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Another book was opened, which is the book of life. The dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books.”

I would that your name was written in the book of life.

We all make decisions everyday. However some decisions are more important than others and some have eternal consequences.

This could be the most important 1 minute and 16 seconds that you decide to watch.

O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting? (1 Corinthians 15:55)

If we were made in God’s image, that would mean that we have some of his creative attributes. If that is true, what is man able to create? Watch the amazing video below to find out. It is truly out of this world.

As a side note to my atheist friends, do you think it is possible that this could ever happen by chance?

Related Posts:

Relativism – Is there such a thing as absolute truth?

April Fools Day Mr Atheist - Is this you?

OK, following my post about Not Forsaking The Assembly, it has been pressing upon my heart how easy people think it is to be a Christian and what is required. It is as if it is easy-believism. This was evident in the death and the funeral of Whitney Houston. Now let me say for the record before I get anyone jumping down my throat about ‘judging’, I have no idea where Whitney Houston will spend her identity. I did not know her personally and that is not the point of the post. However, people seem to think that because a person says they ‘loved the Lord’ or attended church or even read their bible, that that gives them an automatic ticket to heaven. However, scripture gives us a different picture.

21  “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22  On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ 23  And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’ (Matthew 7:21-23)

As you can see many people will be’ saying‘ but Jesus will still deny their entrance to heaven because they were not doing and living in obedience to scripture. See the video below as a wake up call

Last year here in the UK, we had our census. Now if we went by a lot of these surveys, we would be led to believe that most people are christians. However if we dig a bit deeper you will see something different. Athesist Richard Dawkins conducted his own research to find out about those who aligned themself with Christianity. Click here to take a look.

As you can see, some of the results are as follows:

Q) What would you say is the MAIN reason you think of yourself or the person who completed the Census thinks of you as being of this religion?

A) I was christened/baptised into this religion  46%

Q) Apart from special occasions such as weddings, funerals and baptisms or christenings, how often IN THE LAST 12 MONTHS have you attended services or meetings connected with Christianity?

A) Not at all during the last 12 months  49%

Q) Apart from special occasions such as weddings, funerals and baptisms or christenings, when did you LAST attend a service or meeting connected with Christianity?

A) More than ten years ago   32%

Q) When, if at all, did you last read any part of the Bible? I mean independently and from choice, and not as part of a church service or other religious meeting.

A) More than 3 years ago 36%

Q) Which of the following statements BEST describes your personal view of the Bible as a guide to morality?

A) The Bible is not a perfect guide to morality as some of its teachings are not appropriate today, but it is still the best guide we have

There are many people who call themselves christians but their fruits reveal that they are actually a false convert or simply just self deceived. The biggest deception is when a person truly believes that they are a christian when in fact, they are not and they only find this out on judgment day. There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way to death (Proverbs 14:12). The fact of the matter is, contrary to the results of surveys, the vast majority of people are NOT christians even if they profess that they are. How do I know? Because scripture tells us so strive to enter through the narrow gate.

“Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it. (Matthew 7:13-14)

Please check out the links below and if you are not a Christian, please look at my link to non-Christians. If you are not sure if you are a true christian, please examine yourself by clicking here

Related post:

So you think that you’re a christian? Powerful testimonies from former false converts

Have you truly repented?

How to make your child a false convert and the testimony of one such convert

Just say this prayer?

How to botch an altar call

Evangelistic Malpractice

True and False Conversion

Lets stop being so quick to call everyone a christian

How do you know that you are saved (that you are a Christian?)

When I first became a Christian, one of the things that we were taught is that we had to be careful how we lived because if the rapture came while we were sinning, we would be left behind or if I died suddenly before repenting, then I would be lost. Many a Christian lived in bondage and in fear of sinning while Jesus returned. Then after a while, I began to think logically. Even though we are christians, we all still sin everyday. If I went by the logic that I was taught, that would mean that a lot of people would die in their sins and not be taken with Jesus when he returns because at any given point in a day, many christians would be sinning because of our fallen nature meaning that everything would have been in vain. Or they have a sinful thought (which one of us haven’t) and then some tragic happens before they had time to repent, for example, 9/11, they would be lost in the same way that an unbeliever would be lost. There would be no guarantee of our salvation and it would basically be a gamble. It made no sense and made the cross of Christ a bit useless and ineffective. My salvation would be based on what I do and not what he has done. That was until I fully understood what Christ actually achieved.

Christ’s death on the cross and his atonement for our sins was not just limited to the past and the present but also stretches into the future

There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit………..For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit. (Romans 8:1,5)

I now understand that once I have repented and put my trust in Christ for my salvation, ALL of my sins have been forgiven. Past present and future. I do not have to live in fear that when Christ comes or when I die, I might be ‘caught in the act’ of sinning in one form or another. I can live with the freedom knowing that even if I have sinned ‘before I have repented’, I will not be condemned and I will not forfeit my inheritance in Christ. Note though that this applies to those that ‘walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit’. In other words those who have had a true and not false conversion and have truly repented.

Now…….

I can hear many people saying ‘Well that’s OK then. If my future sins are forgiven, then I can live how I want’. If those are your thoughts and you’re thinking is how much you can sin and ‘get away with it’, then there is good chance that you are not truly born again and could be self-deceived. Because a true believer hates his sins and has NO desire to continue sinning. This is just one of the ways you can know if you are a true christian.

I always like to see it as me and Christ swapping jackets. Christ takes my ‘sinful’ jacket in exchange for His ‘righteous’ jacket. Christ in my jacket was punished at the cross and when I stand before God, He only sees the righteous jacket and therefore I am not punished because all my sins have been accounted for and taken on by Christ. WHAT A GREAT DEAL!!

For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. (2 Cor 5:21)

For more on this topic and a further explanation, click here

If you would like to know how you can have your sins forgiven, click here

Christian, please feel free to share this link with your family, friends and enemies

Related post:

Have you truly repented?

So you think that you’re a christian? Powerful testimonies from former false converts

How to make your child a false convert and the testimony of one such convert

Just say this prayer?

How to botch an altar call

Evangelistic Malpractice

True and False Conversion

Lets stop being so quick to call everyone a christian

How do you know that you are saved (that you are a Christian?)